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Want to Know How Cassandra Clare's Widely Anticipated Clockwork Princess Begins?

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Cassandra Clare, during an event at Oblong Books and Music, in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on Sunday, July 15, gave about 200 fans a first listen to the prologue from Clockwork Princess, the widely anticipated third and final book in her The Infernal Devices trilogy, which comes out March 19, 2013.

"Many many people have asked me about Will and Jem meeting," Clare said in advance of reading from the prologue (Will and Jem are two of three main protagonists in the trilogy). "They're very close. They're best, best friends... and so I decided to write out their first meeting."

London 1873.

"Will?" Charlotte Fairchild eased the door of the Institute's training room open. "Will, are you in there?"

A muffled grunt was the only response.

The door swung all the way open, revealing a wide, high-ceilinged room on the other side.

Clare, citing a request from her publisher, Margaret K. McElderry Books, asked that her reading not be recorded. She also said that she just sent the finished Clockwork Princess, which will have a one-million first printing, to her editor.

This intimate reading, during which Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Curse Workers Trilogy) and Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Lexicon, Team Human) also read from forthcoming novels, is just the latest in a rash of recent news that Clare has shared.

On July 10, Clare's publisher posted a partially obscured version of the cover to Clockwork Princess on the website for the series. To see the full cover, you, and, as it turned out, about 30,000 of your closest friends, needed to tweet something, along with the hashtag #ClockworkPrincess. For each tweet, a bit of the veil obscuring the cover was removed.

Two hours and about 30,000 tweets later, the full cover was revealed, #ClockworkPrincess was a worldwide Twitter trending topic, and fans of the series were already critiquing what the cover does -- and doesn't -- show.

And on July 11, Clare announced that Robert Sheehan (Misfits) had been cast as Simon Lewis in the film version of City of Bones, the first in Clare's six-book The Mortal Instruments series (to which the three The Infernal Devices books serve as a prequel). The film also stars Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, and has an Aug. 23, 2013 release date.

Clare, a fan of Misfits (which she compared to Skins, but with superpowers), said she is very happy with the casting, and assured fans that the chemistry between the three leads is palpable.